Remembering East Devon teacher, rower, musician and actor Rodney Dingle

PUBLISHED: 11:03 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:39 09 October 2017

Rodney Dingle (front row, third from left) with the Cambridge crew, carrying their boat out before the 1952 Boat Race.

Rodney Dingle (front row, third from left) with the Cambridge crew, carrying their boat out before the 1952 Boat Race.

Archant

Lympstone church recently resounded to many voices raised in song at the thanksgiving service for Rodney Dingle, who died in August, aged 87. Here the Journal looks back at the life of the award winning oarsman, Exmouth Community College teacher, musician, conductor and keen amateur actor...

Rodney's Seal 22 on the Exe, circa 1983. Rodney's Seal 22 on the Exe, circa 1983.

Rodney Dingle lived in Devon for 47 years – in Topsham, Lympstone and Exmouth. Well known in the musical life of the area, he was a teacher at Exmouth Community College from 1971-89.

For 11 happy years he conducted the Clyst Valley Choral Society. An inspirational choirmaster, his concerts included Bach’s St John Passion, the Brahms Requiem, Bach Cantatas, sing-along Messiahs, and choral works by Vivaldi, Haydn, Handel and Mozart. Rodney also sang with the Exeter Singers, the Bach Choir, Exeter Festival Chorus and the Linstead Singers.

Born in London in 1929, Rodney was educated at Christ’s Hospital school in Horsham. A gifted linguist, after St John’s, Cambridge, he began teaching in 1953 at Bryanston School, Dorset, where he was a housemaster, choirmaster and outstanding rowing coach.

He moved to Topsham in 1970. He married June, and taught languages at Exmouth Community College. He became a committed advocate for the state comprehensive system, and expressed his views in the Journal’s letters column. As a teacher and sixth-form tutor, he was always positive and encouraging, and enjoyed remaining in touch with ex-pupils.

Rodney in the 1990s. Rodney in the 1990s.

He loved the Exe estuary and was a keen sailor. This love of water went back to his Cambridge days, when he was a member the Lady Margaret Boat Club crew that won the grand at Henley Royal Regatta, and in the Cambridge boat that won gold in the European Championships at Macon in 1951. He rowed for Cambridge in 1952, when they lost by a canvas the most exciting Boat Race ever.

All his life he maintained his love of language and was a keen amateur actor. A founding member of the Estuary Players, he also performed with the Lympstone Players.

Eager to help others, he was a volunteer in numerous local charities. Rodney was an enthusiast who enjoyed sharing his knowledge and interests. A warm and witty companion with a fund of amusing anecdotes, he will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

More from Exmouth Journal

Yesterday, 18:30

Big League wresting is back at the Exmouth Pavilion.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:28

The year of 2017 proved to a be a very productive one for members of Exmouth Sea Angling Association with a number of long standing club records being broken and a new club record being added, as well as many personal bests being landed, writes Tim Clotworthy.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:12

With just one game in the Macron Devon and Exeter League Premier Division beating the weather on the third Saturday matchday of 2018, it means more frustration for footballers as the soggy start to the New Year continues.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Head nurse and practice manager at East Devon’s Raddenstiles Veterinary Surgery is taking on a 15,000 foot skydive, in which she will freefall for around two miles, to help abandoned and unwanted dogs find their new forever homes.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:55

A trio of fundraising events have been announced for this year in the build-up to 2019’s Budleigh Salterton Food and Drink Festival.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Don’t miss this week’s gallery of readers’ photos.

Join in at iwitness24.co.uk and send us your East Devon pictures.

Read more
iwitness24
Saturday, January 20, 2018

The second half of the Exmouth Snooker League is up and running after the Festive break and the Conservative stay top after a 3-2 win and a 3-2 loss.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Player registration in the Tolchards Devon League is going on-line for the season ahead, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Curator Neville Evans explained that many botanical gardens were closing and giving away their collections due to funding issues – despite their conservational value. He added that Bicton’s 300 year-old landscape was ‘pretty special’, with ‘plants here that you will never see anywhere else’.

Read more
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Exmouth Town’s South West Peninsula League (SWPL) Premier Division game at home to Godolphin Atlantic was called off after a mid-morning pitch inspection and that means more frustration for Town bosses Andy Rawlings and Kevin Miller.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 8°C

Most read

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel


Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications